Rachel Marsden

There's no point finger-wagging at the intelligence industry itself because it is what it is -- and that is an industry which in the public sector can pay worse than being a cashier at the local 7-Eleven. That's because you should be doing it for the sexiness and patriotism of it and not out of a small-minded desire to pay your rent. But eventually it all wears thin because you can't stand on a table at a bar and yell, "HEY LADIES, I'M THE REAL LIFE JAMES BOND! COME GET SOME OF THIS!" And the few women you are able to reel in have to pay the tab -- so you decide to cash in and go private. And while no one can blame you for wanting to make a living, that's your first sellout. Where the selling out stops after that is entirely up to you and your own conscience because it's not like the CIA is going to keep track of you. For the longest time, the CIA didn't even keep track of the side-jobs their own currently employed officers were performing while still with the service.

When was the last time you heard of a former intelligence officer with valid security clearance working in the private sector facing charges of treason? It just doesn't happen. And that in itself means that presumably secure information can feasibly fall into the hands of anyone. All it would take in some cases would be for an enemy or competitor of America to name the person's price.

So what's the solution to this increased threat of access in the cyber era beyond continually developing new security that will eventually be breached? Counterintelligence education would be a good thing for everyone. And how about going "old school" and keeping critical information out of technology's reach? It's the spy equivalent of keeping money under your pillow instead of in a bank. And if you have anything top secret to transmit that can't simply be whispered into someone's ear? Try the postal service or a courier. No one ever thinks to look there these days. Go back to keeping filing cabinets, embedding information on View-Master reels and employing various other items that 18-year old hackers wouldn't recognize as being from planet Earth or learn about in an NSA employment training course.

Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is a columnist with Human Events Magazine, and Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.
 
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